Give Kids Courage in 2018
Many times we start the new year with the best of intentions. As each week into January passes all the promises we made to ourselves on December 31st become fleeting memories: ADIOS DREAMS of smaller hips! I blame Kim Kardashian. I mean… I cannot simply spend hours at the gym, pay a surgeon when I cannot, hire a stylist or bask in the benefits of a private chef. It’s not sustainable for me. So since I can’t be Kim K to throw cash at these expenses… I need to focus on low cost goals for 2018.
Selfishly I started a list simply for myself--- of my wants for the year ahead. It didn’t feel right. I want to direct my energies in 2018 elsewhere. So I resolved to focus on goals more centered on my world: My Son.
What I Can Give My Son in 2018:
1. Realistic expectations.
I need to help him grow with a grasp on what we can actually afford to do. Instead of making empty promises I will offer options of what we CAN do. My friend, Jackie, models this beautifully. She provides her son with choices of activities that she knows she can find lower cost options for, save up for, or sacrifice something else in exchange. Park dates, half price movie days, and discounted laser tag you name it. In doing so, her son shows more flexibility when an activity isn’t a choice this time. He knows they can expect it later when they work on it together as a goal. Instead of being a mom of “No” Jackie teaches me that I can be a mom of “how can we achieve this goal together?” I love this about her. She’s #singlemomgoals for life.
Being a single parent means sometimes circumstances can feel sketchy. For you and our child/ren. No matter how a person tries the littles can feel the tension. I don’t want to be a mom that asks her child to just “Be tough” and move on. We need to always know that no matter how hard it can get—we are always, always loved. I do this by structuring in time where in the back of my mind I am snuggling with purpose, conversing with intent, and deliberately telling my son how it feels to be together. And I don’t just nod and say “Yup.” It’s easy to halfway listen to a five year old. I have a million things to do on my list and often my brain is in another place. But when I have this intention on my heart I notice it pays off. He whines less. He listens more. He imitates the actions in connections with others. Emotional security remains 2018’s #goals and probably will stay there for life.
Seriously. I am soooooo sick of how hilarious farts can be to preschooler. I’m done. So I’m committed to teaching my son more about manners. It’s ok to talk about bodies and welcome normal functions. It’s not ok to let one rip in your mom’s face. Or talk about butts and poop at the dinner table--- “Would your grandma want to hear that talk?” So now that Holden marches off to school in August we will work on having a filter and understanding why manners matter to some people. Oh… and please and thank you ARE a big deal. He’ll do great with this.
In the vein of knowing school is just around the proverbial corner my kiddo needs to know he can try new things. I find myself jumping in to help with shoes, zippers, chip bags before I ask him to give it a whirl. I want Holden to be ok practicing and be content not being the best. So today when Holden encountered the challenge of how to sharpen a pencil I let him try. I asked him to imitate how I was using my hands. He felt so proud. I helped, but he didn’t need me the whole way. He sat next to me while I typed this and worked on his schoolbooks. He proudly stated “Just read the directions and I got this.” Proud mom moment—the dude cranked through 13 pages of a kindergarten problem solving book. Someone once asked me how Holden knows how to do this. Holden developed a love for learning because we worked together. We play school. We play reader. We play games with math. I know that sounds like I am bragging. I am. I feel so proud we enjoy this stuff together. Learning starts long before kindergarten and I’m so stoked we enjoy preparing for the school age years.
This one may not seem different from the one above, but it is. Courage requires all the aforementioned goals for 2018. My child will need realistic expectations and security to engage in this very scary world bravely. And when he wants to stand up for what he believes in he will need manners to express his beliefs positively and fairly. And in doing so, he can independently face the challenges ahead for himself knowing his mama will support him.
I look forward to 2018 for him. Being 5 is such an exciting time. I may not have the resolve to wake up at 5 am for workouts, I may battle a sugar addiction, and I may possess a greater need to tackle some financial burdens alongside an upcoming court battle BUT I have a son who constantly inspires me to meet my parenting goals. Kim Kardashian. Meh. I don’t need that. I have everything right here sitting next to me asking me how many more minutes I need to finish this sentence….
Jess and The Bear